Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reading Response Frames for Questioning and A FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!!

I forgot my camera at work today so I did not get a chance to take any pictures of our questioning journals, however I have a few reading response frames I created so that my students would have a way to capture their questions.  We read The Wheedle on the Needle and they asked some really smart questions!  There is still time to win your own copy of Wheedle on the Needle.  Just post a comment on one way you teach the thinking strategy of questioning or a favorite book you use to teach questioning.  I will pick one lucky winner on Friday.  So far no one's entered so your odds should be pretty good! Click on the title and it will take you to the comment page or you can leave a comment on this page. 

Asking Questions BDA Horizontal

Asking Question BDA

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One More

Here is a questioning bookmark I just finished.  I am going to copy it front/back on cardstock so my firsties have a constant reminder to always ask questions when they read.

Questioning Bookmark

Thinking Strategy Journal for Questioning

I am working on putting together a thinking strategy journal for Questioning.  I passed out the journals to my class today and they loved them.  We started by writing down all the question words we could think of.  Tomorrow I am going to pass out these Remarkable Reader Awards for students to put into their journals.  I will get some pictures to post also.  For now I will try to post the label for the journals and the awards. It's my first time posting docs so please be patient.

Thinking Strategy Journal Questioning

Reader Award - Questioning

Tuesday's Top Ten . . . The Top 10 Things That Came from Seattle

Here is my favorite things/people that came from Seattle.  They are in no particular order.

1. Ann & Nancy Wilson - when I was little I wanted to play the guitar just like Nancy.

2. Jimi Hendrix

3. Sir Mix-a-Lot - remember "Baby Got Back"?

4. Carrie Brownstein - if you have not had the opportunity to watch the show Portlandia, I highly recommend it.  "The dream of the 90's is alive in Portland"

5. Singles (the movie) - "Well, I don't like to reduce us to just being part of the "Seattle Sound." I'd like to think of us as expanding more. Like, we're huge in Europe right now. I mean, we've got records... uh, a big record just broke in Belgium."

6. The Seattle Seahawks

7. Steve Raible - When Steve Raible played for the Seattle Seahawks I had the biggest crush on him.  I had his poster in my room.  I also like Steven Largent, he's a close second!

8. The food - all of it.  It's no wonder Mr. M and I gained so much weight when we lived there.  Even though we walked & biked everywhere!  From Red Mill Burgers to Ray's Boathouse it's all yummy!

9. Bill Gates

10. My family - lucky for me that over 50 years ago Ludwig & Martha Oberhofer and Marcia & Marv Ryll decided to move their families to the northwest.

My sisters, my cousin and me with our Grandma O

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Questioning & a FREE BOOK!

Mr. M and I just got back from a weekend in the big city . . . Seattle.  We probably go once every few months.  We love it there.  Mostly for the food, but we have so many happy memories that going back always helps us remember the good times we've had and the good times that are still to come.  It's where I grew up and so I associate this fine city with beginnings.  It where my parents met and begun their relationship.   It's where I was born and spent the beginning years of my life. And finally, Seattle is where Mr. M and I lived at the beginning of our marriage. I could go on and on, but while I was visiting my favorite city and spending time at my favorite place (The Pike Place Market; not the main drag, but underneath the market) I was reminded of my favorite book store there and all the wonderful books I have collected for my classroom over the years. Most of them about  . . .  Seattle.

Next week I am continuing teaching the thinking strategy of asking questions during my reading workshop; specifically, finding the answers to our questions. My students have been expects at paying attention to their thinking and asking questions before, during and after reading.  No we are digging in and looking at ways we answer our questions.  Seattle has inspired me to pull out my Seattle books and use these to help my students learn ways to answer their questions (in the text, making an inference, schema & connections).  Here is a list of my favorite Seattle books:

There is an entire Larry series, includind Larry Gets Lost in Chicago, Larry Gets Lost in New York and Larry get Lost in Texas!

This story is my favorite, about an adorable big foot who is trying to find some peace and quiet!

Now for the Free part!  In order to get your own copy of Wheedle on the Needle, all you need to do is comment about your favorite books for teaching Questioning or an activity you use for teaching your students the thinking strategy of asking questions. 

On Friday, April 1st I will choose a lucky winner.

I cannot wait to read all your ideas!

Be sure to check back in on Tuesday, I will have a list of my top ten things from Seattle!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Yesterday we successfully and calmly made our butterflies.  Something that occurred to me that I had not thought of before, was that I have never taught my students how to paint.  I've always assumed that they know how, but as I watched them during previous painting projects I realized that they really don't know about using watercolors.  What happens is their paper gets completely soaked by the water and there is very little color. So we spent part of our day practicing using watercolors.  It's amazing how many things I always assume my students know how to do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Madness . . .

March madness has hit . . . and I am not talking about basketball.  The natives are restless!  Our spring break is 1 1/2 weeks away and it can't come soon enough. Living in the northwest you get used to rain and clouds and gray, so when the sun finally makes an appearance it hypnotizes you and makes you do silly things.

On Wednesday we have early release days for planning and when the natives are restless I calm them with art.  Our next science unit is about insects and I found a wonderful butterfly art project on Jenn Bates blog Finally in First ( If you have not checked out her blog, do so.  It's wonderful) She got the idea from a fantastic art blog called Deep Space Sparkle (another wonderful blog, most of you probably already know about these but as I am very late in the blogging game I am just discovering them)

I will post pictures at the end of the day once their art is completed.  If there is anyone out there reading this, what do you do when March Madness hits your room?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things I Love & Things I Hate (although I do not like my daughter to use that word)

1. I LOVE my family, ALL of them from my wonderful German father with the curly hair and goofy laugh to my patient mother and my precious daughters and my fantastic husband.  I even love my in-laws!

2. I HATE (maybe I should use can't stand) when my daughter is sick and I can't do anything to make her feel better.

3. I LOVE my sisters.  They are the strongest people I know. I love getting pictures of my nieces, they always make me smile and I love that this summer I am getting my first nephew!  Can't wait to meet you Finn!

4. I HATE spiders. Enough said.

5. I LOVE laughing until I cry.

6. I dislike going to bed with the house messy ( I do it all the time, but I do not like it)

7.  I LOVE Johnny Cash, although I often think about who is today's Johnny Cash? Who's our Man in Black?

8.  I HATE the blue Ford Focus that ran every stop sign on my way to Trader Joe's.

9. I LOVE Trader Joe's!

10. I LOVE that I finished and received my National Board Certification; this time last year I might have written that I HATED putting my box together!

Meet The Accidental Teacher

I recently, by accident, discovered the world of blogging when I did a web search for anchor charts.  One of the first links in my Google search was for the blog First Grader . . . At Last.  I fell in love with Sarah's blog and swiftly borrowed several of her ideas beginning with noun town.  Then I started looking around at other blogs and thought to myself, how do these teachers do it?  Raise a family, come up with these amazing ideas and find time to blog about it oh and teach full time.

Then I thought, why not me?  I come up with great ideas that I share with my team, and find time to play with my daughters and teach my first grade class.  So I am trying my hand at blogging. My goal is to post at least once a week and I promise that all my materials will be free for others to use, as I have used the materials that many others have provided. Thanks to the many, many other teachers out there in blog land that have inspired me to put my ideas out there. I consider myself a technology beginner so any advice that you other bloggers can offer I would appreciate.

I would also like to thank my daughter Lola because I am currently home with her as she is suffering my a nasty sinus infection.  If I had not stayed home I might not have had the time/courage to start my own blog.  Thank you Lola!